Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Letter from an Afghan feminist

. Liberal Conspiracy carries this letter from an Afghan feminist, Orzala Ashraf Nemat. Addressed to Barack Obama, it highlights some of the problems of continuing to think this conflict can be solved by military means or by a 'surge'. For example she says;

"An increase in foreign military troops worries us – we are concerned that it just means more house raids and more bombing of civilians."

Moving on she talks about the problems of even the existing forces being in Afghanistan;

"The militarization of development aid has jeopardized the work of civilian humanitarian assistance organizations, and as a result, hundreds and thousands of people are deprived of basic health and educational opportunities."

Describing the current situation she says;

"Corruption has paved the ground for the re-organization of the Taliban; corruption is what opened the doors for the drug mafia, and indeed the larger global fight in Afghanistan should focus on corruption and ensuring rule of law."

Her solution is to invest and empower local forces. Although she is against negotiations with the Taliban and wants them tried for war crimes this letter is nonetheless worth a read, if only to see what the people in Afghanistan are saying, something which should always our inform our debates about the way forward here.

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